June 28, 2015

Dear Church Family,

I say "family" because that is what you are.  You are my fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, nephews and nieces. And the sorrow of our departure is akin to leaving family.  Sadly, it's a feeling to which we have grown accustom. However, in God's family, there will always be comings and goings in response to God's assignments and reassignments. Just read Acts 20 and 21.  

What you allowed us to experience last Sunday was deeply meaningful. Your expressions of love and affirmation have filled our hearts with humble gratitude. We were humbled because we know, more than most, that every good thing that has happened over the last three years and nine months has been a gracious work of the Almighty God in a process that started before we came and will continue long after we leave.  

You will all forever be precious to the Mangham family. Whether you've been here from day one or if last Sunday was your first week at Deer Park Church, we love you because Jesus loves you. You have gifted us with memories of miracles, victories, and transformed lives - the most being my own.  

From time to time, I've quoted the granddaughter-in-law of famed missionary Hudson Taylor. She too was a missionary in China during the Japanese invasion of China. For five years, she was separated from her children by 700 miles. Instead of being debilitated with fear and worry, she was energized into ministry with the promise that "If she would take care of what was precious to God, He will take care of what was precious to her." This is my encouragement to you. 

Until we meet again,

Pastor Ed